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The Lady She Knew How to Dress
Fair Eleanor of Aquitaine
   Not one to miss a chance
Swept into court and caught the eye
   Of Louis, prince of France.
Full fifteen yards around her hem
   For each fair year a yard
This lovely maid from Aquitaine
   And Louis were soon wed.
Now march to free the Holy Land
   Bernard of Clairvaux blazed
And Louis, now king, was fired with zeal
   To go on that Crusade.
Nothing would do but Eleanor
   Would ride at Louis' side
And to her came, of high degree
   Fair maids from far and wide.
Queen Eleanor's Guard, they were called
   They drilled on steeds so fine
And many gasped in circles high
   And did their dress malign.
White tunics bright, slit up the sides
   Bared legs, tight-stockings dressed
Red leather boots up to their knees
   Red crosses on their breasts.
With royal crest upon her arm
   And in her hat a plume
Fair Eleanor against the Saracen
   Led Europe's finest bloom.
Fair lady from the Courts of Love
   What grand dreams did you chase?
Those knights sighed O, who rode with you
   So boldly did you dress.
Carolyne Butler
(Copyright © 2000)